Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are set to launch an ambitious effort to spend $3 million in the next ten yeras in a bid to eradicate all diseases by the end of the century. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is aimed to “work together to cure, prevent or manage all diseases within our children’s lifetime,” said Dr Chan during an event in San Francisco.
Talking at the philanthropic initiative, Zuckerberg said that this was a move to “make a better future for our children.” The couple spoke one after the other at the UCSF Mission Bay campus to unveil the next phase of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
“The biggest breakthroughs take many years. “This is about the future we want for our daughter and children everywhere. If there’s a chance that we can help cure all diseases in our children’s lifetime, then we will do our part. Together, we have a real shot at leaving the world a better place for our children than we found it,” Zuckerberg added.
“Today, just four kinds of diseases cause the majority of deaths,” Zuckerberg added in a posting on his Facebook page, citing cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases and neurological diseases. “We can make progress on all of them with the right technology.”
Chalking out the framework of their initiative, the couple made a commitment to invest $3 billion over the next decade towards disease prevention and research initiatives, starting with a $600 million investment for a new research facility called the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub in San Francisco.
The Biohub is a joint partnership among three Bay Area universities: UCSF, Stanford and the University of California and will develop new tools to measure and treat disease. The couple in December 2015 had announced that they would give away 99% of their wealth to “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation.”
Dr. Cori Bargmann, a Rockefeller University neuroscientist, will lead all of Chan Zuckerberg’s science initiatives.
Praising the effort of the couple, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates said, “The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is already doing some very promising work in improving the education of all students. It’s amazing they are taking on another bold challenge. I am so impressed with the team that’s been pulled together here. I have no doubt that we’ll make great progress on these diseases and literally save millions of lives and make the world a better place.”